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Knights Templar Sue the Pope 675

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the trade-ya-for-the-grail dept.
pdragon04 writes "According to The Register, "the Knights Templar are demanding that the Vatican give them back their good name and, possibly, billions in assets into the bargain, 700 years after the order was brutally suppressed by a joint venture between the Pope and the King of France..."." I wonder what a holy grail goes for with 700 years of compound interest.
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Knights Templar Sue the Pope

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:28AM (#24467391)
    The real Templars were disbanded in the early 14th century. These claimants are nothing more than another bunch of modern wannabes [wikipedia.org] (founded in 1804). They have no legal standing to sue. And since the only immortal survivor of the templar persecution died in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," I somehow doubt they're going to be able to find anyone who was an actual victim to join their lawsuit.
  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:30AM (#24467417)

    I'm thinking that 700 years might be a bit past the statute of limitations...

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:31AM (#24467431) Journal

    I wonder what a holy grail goes for with 700 years of compound interest.

    I'm much more interested in how you make up for the lives & civilizations your organization destroyed [wikipedia.org].

    I'm not saying this is true but Newsweek/MSNBC ran a story on pagan relics stored beneath the Vatican [tripod.com]. I've also read and heard that many Native American (both North & South) relics and documents were shipped back to the Vatican to be stored under it so they could study heathenism and combat it. This was after their owners were either converted or burned/shot.

    I would think that the Catholic church could at least (as a sign of good faith) return these to their descendants or at the very least release them to a museum with all the information they have on it so that the rest of us can gain insight to their culture & religion. Of course, if this were true, I don't think the museum donations would be worth the black eye.

    "the Knights Templar are demanding that the Vatican give them back their good name and, possibly, billions in assets into the bargain, 700 years after the order was brutally suppressed by a joint venture between the Pope and the King of France..."

    The funny thing is that the Vatican probably has billions in capital at its disposal. I always got a kick out of the pope ruling a small nation-state in Europe (with its own currency, mind you) telling me to be more like Jesus. The same Jesus who said in Matthew 19:21

    Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

    Or what Luke said (12:23)

    Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

    Or John 3:17

    If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

    The funny thing is I could go on all day finding quotes from most major religions ... Like Buddha or Gandhi, I'm a huge fan of this Jesus guy. It's 99% of the people who purport to follow him that manage to genuinely fuck up the world.

    • by kahei (466208) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:41AM (#24467589) Homepage

      ...and that was rabid Catholic-bashing in post 4, still standing by for Christianity-bashing and something about open source.

    • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:42AM (#24467615) Journal

      I believe your last two citations are incorrect. The last should be 1 John, and was not uttered by Jesus. The middle one is Luke 12:33.

    • As long as we're quoting from the Bible, why not disband the whole church system using Matthew 6?

      "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

        2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
      Prayer
        5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

      • by memoryhole (3233) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:05PM (#24469031) Homepage

        As long as we're quoting from the Bible, why not disband the whole church system using Matthew 6?

        For one thing, because Christ himself established the church system. (Matthew 16:18)

        In Matthew 5, he says this:

        You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

        The obvious reconciliation of these two passages is that of INTENT. You are ignoring the second half of the sentence. "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them." He's not telling people to avoid doing acts of righteousness, he's telling them to avoid doing them solely for the sake of being seen (i.e. for the purpose of glorifying themselves).

    • by R2.0 (532027) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:50AM (#24467755)

      Congratulations! You have discovered the secret of Instant +5 Insightful here in our happy community:

      "[Catholic Church|US Government] sucks and [Catholics|US Citizens] are [ignorant|corrupt]." Followed by "I'm sure [Jesus|the Constitution] is great, but no one really does what they want."

      Instant gratification and celebrity! I'd patent it, but there's WAY too much prior art.

    • by benwiggy (1262536) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:52AM (#24467779)

      The funny thing is that the Vatican probably has billions in capital at its disposal. I always got a kick out of the pope ruling a small nation-state in Europe (with its own currency, mind you) telling me to be more like Jesus.

      Actually, the Vatican made a loss last tax year.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7501486.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      And this would be the same Jesus who said:
      For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. Sounds like a charitable guy.

      • by KillerBob (217953) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:26AM (#24468369)

        And this would be the same Jesus who said:
        For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. Sounds like a charitable guy.

        Y'know... I've never really liked it when people use the word "ye" to mean "you"... it means "the". And it's actually supposed to be pronounced that way, too... The letter 'y' in that place replaces a thorn [wikipedia.org], and started doing so with the introduction of moving type. It does so because the French-made printing presses didn't have that letter in their character set, because it's of Anglo-Saxon origin, not Latin, and so the letter Y was used in its place. Over time, the letter simply fell out of use in the English alphabet, and was replaced with the combonation "th", which had started appearing about 100 years earlier.

        Off topic, I know. But *shrugs*

    • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:52AM (#24467781) Journal
      The funny thing is, the whole debate has been going on for centuries, and causing fractures in the church between those factions who believed that Jesus was poor, and so the church should be, and those who believed that having lots of money is really great.

      Umberto Eco's Novel "The Name of the Rose" has this as a major subplot (I think it's less significant in the movie).
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:56AM (#24467867) Journal

      I'm much more interested in how you make up for the lives & civilizations your organization destroyed.

      I'm more interestded in how the list you pointed to is in any way relevant.

      1492: Christopher Columbus discovers the New World.
      1493: With the Inter caetera, Pope Alexander VI awards sole colonial rights over most of the New World to Spain.
      January 22, 1506: Kaspar von Silenen and first contingent of Swiss mercenaries enter the Vatican during the reign of Pope Julius II. Traditional date of founding of the Swiss Guards.
      April 18, 1506: Pope Julius II lays cornerstone of New Basilica of St. Peter.
      1508: Michaelangelo starts painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
      October 31, 1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses, protesting the sale of indulgences.
      1516: Saint Sir Thomas More publishes "Utopia" in Latin.
      1519: Spanish conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortes.
      January 3, 1521: Martin Luther finally excommunicated by Pope Leo X in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.
      1521: Baptism of the first Catholics in the Philippines, the first Christian nation in Southeast Asia. This event is commemorated with the feast of the Sto. Niño.

      etc. What do any of these have to do with destroying people's lives?

      I would think that the Catholic church could at least (as a sign of good faith) return these to their descendants or at the very least release them to a museum with all the information they have on it so that the rest of us can gain insight to their culture & religion.

      I don't see how anyone could disagree with that. "Thou shalt not steal," not even if you are the Catholic Chruch.

      The funny thing is that the Vatican probably has billions in capital at its disposal.

      More pathetic than funny IMO, especially considering Matthew 19:23 - "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"

      Never trust a preacher who wears a five thousand dollar suit preaching in a million dollar church.

      It's 99% of the people who purport to follow him that manage to genuinely fuck up the world.

      Amen to that. Pat Robertson has converted more Christians to athiesm than all the athiests at slashdot combined. Most of the people you find in any church worship money, not God.

      • by mario_grgic (515333) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:06PM (#24469069)

        The often quoted (out of context mind you) Jesus' words:

        Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"

        do NOT mean that it is wrong to be rich nor that rich people can not go to heaven. If you read a few passages before the quote you will see that a rich man rejected the offer to follow Jesus because he could not part with the money (that was the condition Jesus requested of him: sell all you have and follow me).

        The question any "rich" man or anybody who holds something really dear to their heart is always "is this more important to me than God. Am I serving that something and not God and people around me, failing to see them as my brothers".

        If the honest answer is no, then you are in the exact same danger as the rich man in the Bible.

        Note that money is just a tool, so is knowledge, reason or any talent. People often forget that.

    • by D Ninja (825055) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:13AM (#24468135)

      The funny thing is I could go on all day finding quotes from most major religions ... Like Buddha or Gandhi, I'm a huge fan of this Jesus guy. It's 99% of the people who purport to follow him that manage to genuinely fuck up the world.

      I'd love to see where you got your statistics.

      I don't disagree with you. Christians have done quite a good job of messing up the world. Heck...Christians are people too - we mess up. But, then again, we are all part of this earth, so we all hold responsibility for its state...it's not just Christians (and people of other faiths) who are at fault. The problem as I see it is, and as you very nicely pointed out, religions tend to be caught in their hypocrisy which makes them look that much worse. (What's worse - someone who does something bad, or someone who says to do good and still does the bad thing?)

      I am also not disagreeing with you that all of that capital could not be used to help millions (billions?) of people in this world, and it's not. I am with you 100% on that.

      With all that said, what I find interesting is that you quote passage after passage in the Bible, condemning Christians (and religions) about not being perfect, yet you forget one passage...

      Matthew 7:5 - You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

      I challenge you that, instead of complaining about how others are not doing the right thing, go out and do the right thing yourself. How much better would that make the world?

    • Not so fast. (Score:5, Informative)

      by pragma_x (644215) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:20AM (#24468275) Journal

      http://zzpat.tripod.com/cvb/oct_2006/pagan_graves_in_vatican_basement.html [tripod.com]

      To be fair, you completely misrepresent this article that you linked. The aforementioned "pagan relics stored beneath the Vatican" is nothing more than a new archeological site. It's not some cache of pagan artifacts gathered from past crusades/missions or some such.

      If you read the article you'll see that it is a ancient Roman necropolis that was discovered recently, quite by accident*, during the construction of a new parking garage for the Vatican. It even has the rather tongue-in-cheek name "Necropolis of the Parking Garage" ("Necropoli dell'Autoparco").

      The fact the burial customs used were clearly non-christian/Catholic, is the only reason why the site is labeled as a Pagan site. Also, it is dated to around 23 B.C.-14 A.D, which dates it just before Christianity as a whole.

      The Vatican even plans to open the site to the public. This quote best sums up how the Vatican feels on the matter:

      "Everyone always thinks that if it's not about pure Christianity, the Vatican isn't interested," says Cristina Gennaccari, an archaeologist with the Vatican Museums. "But there are many pagan aspects of all things modern, and when it comes to archeology, especially religious archeology, there is really no room for distinction."

      (* This kind of stuff happens all the time in Rome. It just so happens that the Vatican isn't in the habit of digging so deep.)

    • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:53AM (#24468781) Homepage

      Well, if Jesus is God, then he owns the whole Universe and beyond. Can't be richer than that, can he?

      Anyway, if you go beyond the Gospels into Acts, you'll see the apostles made such a money-less community. The problem is, it didn't last. At the end, they had to ask Paul to go around get donations from the churches abroad, what he did. Morals: being poor is good and all, provided you have someone from whom to ask money once poorness' ugly side shows up.

      Oh, and by the way: the land the Church owned in Europe up to the 18th century were usually reserved for usage by the landless or anyone under persecution of angry Feudal lords. When those Church lands were appropriated by the many greed governments around, they got distributed among nobles, bourgeois and other close friends of said governments. That's when being a poor European landless peasant really became a problem (for the peasant).

      In short: actual History is more complicated than our cherished oversimplifications would prefer it to be.

    • by memoryhole (3233) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:56AM (#24468857) Homepage

      The funny thing is that the Vatican probably has billions in capital at its disposal.

      The Vatican's finances are a matter of public record, so you don't have to guess about its financial resources. You can look it up [nlrcm.org]. The short answer is: no, they don't have billions in capital at their disposal. Their annual budget is less than that of Harvard University.

      • by orzetto (545509) on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:42PM (#24470605)

        no, [the Vatican] don't have billions in capital at their disposal. Their annual budget is less than that of Harvard University.

        I call bullshit. The Vatican gets at least 0.5% of Italy's tax revenue through the Otto per mille, a way to publicly finance religion in Italy. Through that channel alone, the Vatican got one billion euros [wikipedia.org] (not dollars) last year. That's one tax, for each year, in one country, and that's even a legitimate channel; illegal channels include tax breaks on commercial activities [iht.com] operated by the church, which are granted by my country's government, headed by a "legitimate businessman", in spite of European rules, and financing of religious private schools, forbidden as explicitly as possible by the Constitution of Italy, article 33 [wikisource.org], which however politicians use as toilet paper; In case you did not know how schools work in Italy, private schools are basically diploma mills for stupid or lazy sons of rich people who can't handle public school, where your professor can flunk you without fear of making the school lose its money.

        Read on about cardinal Marcinkus [wikipedia.org] and the IOR [wikipedia.org] to know more about the greed of the Vatican.

        ... and, by the way, Harvard university's budget is in the range of billions of dollars [pdf] [harvard.edu], 2.6 in 2005 to be precise.

  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@MOSCOWgmail.com minus city> on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:33AM (#24467463) Journal

    They'll have enough trouble trying to prove that they are the rightful heirs of the Knights Templar...Trying to get money from the church on top of that? And why not sue France? They got a huge chunk of change as well.

    Not even close to being the first time someone has tried this, and it never goes anywhere. The dream of the Templars wealth keeps it going, but in reality there is no wealth to claim, no one with the right to claim it, and no one to claim it from.

  • DNS hack! (Score:5, Funny)

    by hansraj (458504) * on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:34AM (#24467473)

    I think the traffic to the register is being redirected to the onion!

  • by kahei (466208) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:38AM (#24467555) Homepage

    They go back and *actually* liberate the Holy Land, and *then* the Pope has to pay them all the golden doubloons in Christendom.

    10% bonus doubloons for finding the True Cross. On second thoughts, 10% bonus for each True Cross found.

    Heck, I'll even chip in a squadron of Turcopoles and some Genoese arbalesters.

  • I had to look it up (Score:5, Informative)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:38AM (#24467557) Journal

    So now you don't have to [wikipedia.org].

    The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici), commonly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple (French: Ordre du Temple or Templiers), were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders.[3] The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages. It was founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, its original purpose to ensure the safety of the many Christians who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest.

    Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129, the Order became a favored charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles quartered by a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades.[4] Non-combatant members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, innovating financial techniques that were an early form of banking,[5][6] and building many fortifications throughout the Mediterranean and the Holy Land.

    The Templars' success was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, began pressuring Pope Clement V to take action against the Order. In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake.[7] In 1312, Pope Clement, under continuing pressure from King Philip, disbanded the Order. The abrupt disappearance of a major part of the societal infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the "Templar" name alive into the modern day.

    I fail to see how this is nerdy, but I do appreciate the humor of someone suing the pope.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:47AM (#24467707) Homepage

    The Pantheon, in Rome [wikipedia.org], was built as a temple to the Roman gods, but was taken over by the Catholic church in 609 AD. It's time to return it to its original purpose, and restore the statutes of Mars, Venus, Apollo, Jupiter, and Diana.

  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:55AM (#24467833)

    Ni!

  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:04AM (#24467991) Homepage

    As standing with The Register's excellent reputation these days, the article is short on details and what exactly "restoring their good name" means. Here's something that might make more sense:

    http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=8360 [cathnews.com]

    What the Templars want is the lifting of the ban on the order itself by the catholic church. Follow the money on this one. The templars appear to be a charitable organization now, but even 700 years later, c'mon, if you said you were a templar, the first two stupid questions you'd expect from an ignorant person are "weren't they all burned at the stake for crimes a long time ago", and "so where's the grail?"

    Obviously the Templars want some legitimacy, and this is the first step. If the church basically lifts the ban, they can also probably get financial and political support from the Vatican, which is huge. By getting legitimacy, they stop having to answer the same stupid questions and can go back to doing good works "in the name of God and with the pope's blessing," if that's the type of thing that floats your boat, and people will start taking them more seriously. Right now I bet no one in the world takes them seriously, but if they win this, since this will be a pretty visible thing if the Pope does what he asks, it will catapult the group into the world spotlight.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:07AM (#24468055) Homepage

    ...and I want to sue the whole of Europe for damages.

  • Pretty Slick (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PMuse (320639) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:25AM (#24468357)

    Most suits for medieval atrocities would face a number of hurdles, e.g.:

    1. There is often no present-day successor of the ancient defendant due to intervening time, revolutions, wars, sales of assets, etc.
    2. Most sovereign states grant themselves immunity from suits by their citizens.
    3. Statutes or precedent often forbid bringing claims older than a certain limited age.
    4. There often is no present-day successor of the ancient plaintiff due to intervening time, revolutions, wars, sales of assets, etc.

    These 'Templars' seem to be able to overcome 1 because, according to Catholic doctrine, the current Pope is the direct successor of an unbroken line going back to St. Peter. They seem able to overcome 2 because the Pope is not sovereign in Spain. Overcoming 3 and 4, though, seems unlikely.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:05PM (#24469035)

    are the true Knights Templar, and that we have hidden the treasures of the world beneath a highly recognizable public building (no, not that one).

    Claims about us secretly directing the destiny of nations and peoples are greatly exaggerated, though. I've been in fifteen years and still only get to oversee Botswana.

  • Genocide? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by haeger (85819) on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:09PM (#24470131)

    Can someone sue them for genocide in the African continent too? Seeing how they must know that AIDS is common there and that it's deadly they still keep insisting that condoms are forbidden. The only thing that can save lives is forbidden.

    Yeah, they keep preaching abstinence but that's like trying to forbid good food. It's possible to get by without it but most people wont.

    Not that I think that it will ever happen. And now I'm probably on the vaticans "going to hell"-list too.

    .haeger

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud

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